How a Benchmark Study Can Help You Raise Donors

Does seeing what others are doing help you improve your fundraising? We think so. Here’s why we think you should too.

There are a lot of voices out there with great ideas on what you should be doing to raise money for your organization. 

But how do you know which ideas are working and which ones are duds?

That’s where benchmark studies can be very helpful.

Recently, we participated in a new benchmark study with our friends at NextAfter to help nonprofits understand what is working (and what is not) with their donation pages.

It’s called The State of Nonprofit Donation Pages.

In our study, we visited 203 website of organizations in 12 different verticals and gave a $20 gift. You can get your free copy here.

We learned so much while conducting our study. (In fact, here are just seven of the biggest things we learned from the data we recorded.)

So besides what we learned from the study, why should you download and read another benchmark study? And, what makes this study unique?

Let me answer those questions here.

Benchmark studies come from the real world.

Theory is great. It’s where new ways of doing things are born.

But while innovation begins with theory, it has to make it in reality.

Benchmark studies show us which theories or strategies are working in the real world.

In theory, every idea is a good idea. So, if you subscribe to a blog (even our blog), join a class, or attend a training seminar, it’s difficult to know what will really work when you implement it.

With benchmark studies, you don’t have to guess. 

In them, you see not what other nonprofits think they should do, you get to observe what they’re actually doing.

No guesswork. No embellishments. No exaggerations.

You see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Anyone with an incredible presentation can make an idea sound like your next capital campaign miracle.

Benchmark studies skip all the hype and show you what’s happening on the front lines.

In The State of Nonprofit Donation Pages, you can see the screenshots we took of the donation pages we visited and see the best ones, the okay ones, and the ones that need a lot of work.

While it’s good to see the ideal donation page and try to copy it, it’s also good to see the ones that don’t perform so well. Why?

Because then you can compare your current donation pages to them and see if they look more like the high performing ones or the low performing ones.

Seeing can be believing. 

Benchmark studies show you what’s possible.

When you see what other nonprofits are doing, you’ll begin to see exactly what you can do to improve your own donation page. 

Have you ever felt your donation pages need upgraded, but don’t know exactly what needs to change?

This is where benchmark studies can really come in handy. 

They are like a huge book of ideas—all mapped out for you—to follow and see what will work for your organization.

You can increase your organization’s revenue. 

This really is the bottom line. Increasing your nonprofit’s revenue is a worthy and noble goal.

That’s actually why we started RaiseDonors.

Everything we do here at RaiseDonors is about helping you grow your nonprofit so you can be more successful at your mission.

When you raise more supporters for your organization, you can go much further to reach your goals for change in the world. 

There are three ways to increase revenue in online fundraising.

The first way to increase your revenue in online fundraising is by increasing your donation pages’ traffic. 

The more people who visit your site, the more people will be willing to give a gift on your page. 

Another way to increase your online revenue is to improve your conversion rate. 

The conversion rate is the difference between the people who visit your site (traffic) and those who stay and give. You can increase your conversion rate by getting more people who come to your website to donate.

Finally, the third way to increase online revenue is to increase the amount of the average gift given by inspiring them to be more generous.

When you multiply those three metrics (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift) together, you get revenue. 

Your donation page plays a critical role in two of these metrics: conversion rate and average gift.

Even small improvements make a big difference.

For example, if you look at the benchmark findings of just 155 nonprofits in the study and increase the average conversion rate from 0.37% to 0.74%, that would double the amount of revenue those organizations brought in from $144M to $290M! 

But what if we could also improve the average gift by even just 10%? 

That would mean a 121% increase in revenue and an additional $174M in giving to those 155 nonprofits.

This is the kind of results we want to see for your nonprofit. 

It’s why we do what we do, and why we joined with NextAfter to produce this benchmark study.

Optimize your fundraising and raise more donors!

What do you have to lose? 

Download your free copy of The State of Nonproft Donation Pages and see what other organizations like yours are doing well… and not so well.

Identify areas of growth for your donation pages to convert more visitors into donors.  

Learn from the best how to inspire your online donors to give more generously and increase your average gift online.

And as always, feel free to get ahold of us for any comments, questions, or to find out how RaiseDonors can help your organization grow.

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Virtuous is the responsive fundraising software platform proven to help nonprofit organizations increase generosity by serving all donors personally, no matter their gift size.

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Chief Information Officer